The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Accenture Federal Services (NYSE:ACN) a nine-month, $30 million contract to expand international data-sharing capabilities and secure web services for the Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), formerly the US-VISIT program.
The Office of Biometric Identity Management manages biometric and biographic identity management systems that help federal, state and local officials determine if travelers can legally enter or remain in the United States. Work under the contract will decrease the time, cost and personnel required to support data sharing between the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.
“OBIM enhances the security of U.S. citizens and visitors, facilitates legitimate travel and trade and helps ensure the integrity of the U.S. immigration system,” said Rocky Thurston, who leads Accenture’s work with the Department of Homeland Security. “This program has become a model of innovation, collaboration and high performance for DHS and the federal government.”
Biometrics are unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, that can be used for automated recognition. Biometrics form the basis of OBIM identification services because they are reliable, convenient and virtually impossible to forge. OBIM currently stores 10-print digital fingerprints in its database.
OBIM provides biometric information to the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration. Upgrades under the contract also will enable biometric information to be shared in real time with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Defense.
Accenture also will expand the use of secure web services for all stakeholders, making it easier and more cost effective to access existing OBIM data. The development of reusable “services” has allowed OBIM to dramatically decrease the time and cost for new users to access the system – from nine months to three weeks.
The program helps protect America’s borders by identifying terrorists, wanted criminals, sex offenders, immigration violators and international criminals at airports and ports of entry around the world.
Accenture began working with US-VISIT in 2004, overseeing operational responsibility for the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT). Since then, IDENT has become the largest biometric identity solution in the world, processing more than 300,000 encounters a day against a database of more than 150 million stored encounters. The average response time for users is under 10 seconds.
Accenture Federal Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Accenture LLP, a U.S. company, with offices in Arlington, VA. Accenture’s federal business serves every cabinet-level department and 20 of the largest federal organizations. The U.S. federal portfolio spans across clients in civilian, defense, intelligence and public safety agencies.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 266,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
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